First responders are dying around us, ostracized, scared and alone.  It seems like every week we are confronted by another tragic story in the news.    We are saddened and wonder what to do about it.  Then we put the newspaper down and get on with our days.

This is not new.  Doesn’t it stand to reason that people who witness horrific things as part of their job description might suffer mental health issues as a result?  Do you think that a culture that celebrates a traditional notion of toughness and strength might also create a culture where struggles are perceived as weakness?

You know all those things about you that you’re too scared or ashamed to share?  They are consuming you. But you know that, don’t you?  The thing is, you’re not just harming yourself.  You’re showing others they too should be scared and they should hide their shame and guilt.

What if you chose a different path?  What if you didn’t wait for someone else to create a new program or campaign and just shared your real story?  If you have the courage to stand up and say, “This is me,” then other people will feel safe to do the same.  It might be just one, but its a start and that’s exactly what we need.  Our demons thrive in the darkness.  Its time to expose them to light.

Our stories contain the threads that bind us together.  All we need to do is love ourselves and each other enough to share them.  Will you?